Ben Castle - Breathe Easy

Monday 1st April 1996
Ben Castle - Breathe Easy

RATING 10 10 10 10 10 10 10 10 10 10
LABEL: Kingsway KMCD866
RELEASE DATE: 1996-01-19
RRP: £8.80

Reviewed by Steve Smith

This new debut solo album from Ben Castle is a sensation! You'll love it even if you think jazz is not your style. You'll love it even more if jazz is your style! Ben is backed by a 16 piece big band of high calibre and breathes a freshness and dynamism into classic hymns and new pieces alike. The arrangements, some for jazz quartet, are all by Ben himself and are truly inspired. Rather than just 'jazzing-up' well known tunes, the tracks are fully arranged with jazz harmonies, rhythms and structures which enables them to stand up as convincing jazz numbers in their own right. Ben's tenor sax playing is brilliant, effortless and creative and very persuasive. Other great solo playing is provided by Raul D'Oliveira, trumpet, and Mark Edwards, piano, to name just two of many who deserve a mention. Vocalist Nanette Welmans is featured on a new Castle composition "Always Christmas". This is an album of sublime contrasts, from the up tempo big band excitement of "For I'm Building A People Of Power" to the entirely intimate "My Song Is Love Unknown", played by Ben with quartet backing. I thoroughly recommend it. Buy it and let's see the jazz scene redeemed for Jesus too!

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